A Dark Day for British Animation…
The British Animation Industry is not in a good place at the moment.
Not only are there students literally pouring out of Universities with degrees in animation that are barely worth the paper they’re written on because there simply aren’t enough jobs in the skills that are being taught (one slightly horrifying statistic I read is that there were more graduating students last year than there are jobs in the entire industry).
But also, due to the decision not to grant Tax Breaks to the TV animation industry, many of our largest, nostalgic and most culturally significant characters and series’ are now produced abroad. 75% of British animation studios have either moved abroad or are considering doing so, and worst of all; Aardman, the quintessentially British Aardman, are threatening to follow suit.
It would be a very very sad day if Wallace and Gromit were produced elsewhere. ‘Plus de fromage, Gromit?’
This isn’t a topic that many people who aren’t directly involved in animation will lose much sleep over, but animation is one of Britain’s proudest exports. It was invented here by Arthur Melbourne Cooper (did I mention he was based down the road from our studio? Oh… I did) in 1897, and it’s grown to produce work that is treasured the world over. Postman Pat, Wind in the Willows, Morph – all a significant part of our childhood memories and cultural identity, and all financially unviable in the UK.
- The live action industry benefits from considerable subsidies
- Countries such as Ireland, Germany, France and Canada all receive tax breaks
- “by retaining jobs in the uk we increase national Insurance receipts, tax receipts, expendature and VAT receipts, tax credits and should be profitable in the long run” – Mile Bullough
So, if Saturday morning cartoons meant as much to you as it did to me, please sign the petition: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/21834
(Sources for this blog all come from the very lovely and absurdly brainy Steve Henderson off of Squiggly and his article “Aardman animation to leave the UK?”)